My wife cheated on me and now I’m not that interested in her anymore. It’s been a year since it happened. Am I normal or not? What should be done?
Marriage is based on love, and love is based on trust. Because trust is lacking in your instance, you don’t feel the same way about her as you did before the incident. That is perfectly normal.
It’s been a year since the incident and you didn’t leave. That tells me you want to forgive your partner and enjoy that intimacy you once had again. But when you think of love for your partner, maybe you remember all that happened again. The hurt and betrayal.
Don’t listen to people who say you should have moved on already. The road to recovery after infidelity is long and peculiar to each person. You just need more time than others.
Before we go over how you can take gradual steps to restore the intimacy in your marriage, ask yourself these questions:
Is this marriage worth it to you? Does she still want to be married to you? Do you trust she will never cheat on you again? Do you trust that she still loves you? Did you resolve the reason she started cheating on you in the first place? Are you having feelings of inadequacy?
If you are both still invested in this marriage, not because of culture, religion, tradition or any external pressure, but because that love is still lingering there, there’s a lot you can do.
Mentally, you’re still in a crisis phase. You may discover that there is so much betrayal, rage, and resentment during this phase that you can’t picture ever bonding with your partner again. As always, communication is key. Express how you’re feeling to your wife. Then, continue to communicate openly. If you require reassurance, tell her. Don’t be afraid to share your emotional needs during this period. Rebuilding that emotional intimacy is the foundation.
Next is physical intimacy. If you don’t feel ready to have sex, that’s understandable. Start slow. Perhaps start with minor acts of physical intimacy, such as holding hands. You can slowly graduate to warm hugs and even cuddling in bed. When you’re comfortable, sex can return.
This is important because if you ignore physical intimacy and focus only on getting along and avoiding conflict, you will find that you are good roommates, but you won’t feel “in love” with your partner (which is what is happening).
Eventually, your emotional apathy will lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration. It is through the physical intimacy that you will each find that “in love” feeling. But it takes work. Erotic recovery is a practice, like yoga or meditation. You have to practice it together and commit to each other every day.
As you progress through these stages of recovery, take your time and let your partner know she needs to make you feel emotionally safe.
It may also take some time to rebuild your self-esteem once your partner cheats. That will greatly influence how you view yourself and your partner. Low self-esteem feeds any latent feelings of jealousy and insecurity in your relationship. Remember that your wife’s affair is not a reflection of you. Even if you’ve made a couple of mistakes or have some changes to make in your attitude or personality, you are not intrinsically flawed or deserving of such suffering.
You wrote to me because you want to fix your relationship. No one can tell you what to do or how to feel. If your spouse is truthful and genuine, then there is a lot of room for hope.
Be kind to yourself mentally as you recover from this painful situation.
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